China trade jump reveals solid exit from downturn

Kathleen Brooks
Imports to China surged by a massive 85 per cent in January, and the trade surplus fell to $14.17bn (£9.4bn), down from $18.43bn in December. Exports continued to grow by 20 per cent, exceeding analyst expectations.

A favourable comparison to last year helped to boost imports in January, but overall, the trade data released yesterday suggested that China is emerging strongly from the global economic downturn.

This is unlikely to silence calls for the Chinese to allow their currency to appreciate. The yuan adopted a de-facto peg against the US dollar back in July 2008.

Chinese trade data coincided with the US, which reported a widening in the trade deficit from $36.4bn in November to $40.2bn in December. China’s trade surplus with the US was more than $10bn in January.